January 29, 2015 / 2:43 PM / 3 years ago

TSX little changed as energy decline offset by banks

A man walks past an old Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) sign in Toronto, June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s main stock index was little changed in choppy trading on Thursday after a decline in energy shares was offset by gains in financials and most other major sectors.

Investors remained nervous about the Federal Reserve’s outlook for raising U.S. interest rates and the uncertainty surrounding Greece’s recent election results.

Choppiness in the price of U.S. crude oil CLc1 helped send shares of energy producers down 1.1 percent.

The Fed said on Wednesday the U.S. economy was expanding “at a solid pace,” signaling to investors the U.S. central bank was on track to raise rates later this year.

The benchmark TSX, which tumbled about 1.6 percent on Wednesday, slipped to its lowest in a week before rebounding slightly.

“Heightened volatility is going to be a mainstay for 2015, regardless of which direction the markets go,” said Andrew Pyle, senior wealth advisor and portfolio manager at ScotiaMcLeod.

“We’ll probably find fundamentals begin to shift in favor of crude oil this year, and the TSX could outperform U.S. markets,” he added.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE closed up 33.08 points, or 0.23 percent, at 14,635.96. Eight of the 10 main sectors on the index were higher.

Financials, the index’s most heavily weighted sector, added 0.3 percent. Toronto Dominion Bank (TD.TO) advanced 0.9 percent to C$51.64, and Manulife Financial Corp climbed 1.3 percent to C$20.57.

Among shares of energy producers, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO) declined 0.8 percent to C$34.97, and Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO) shed 0.8 percent to C$36.44.

In corporate news, Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT.TO) reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by strong potash sales and lower costs. The stock added 0.3 percent to C$45.48.

Editing by James Dalgleish and Chris Reese

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